South Carolina Smog Check / Emissions Test
The State of South Carolina does not have any vehicle emissions test requirements because the state meets all of the US government’s air-quality standards outlined in the Clean Air Act.
Incentives for Eco – Friendly Driving in South Carolina
Even though there are no vehicle emissions testing requirements in South Carolina, there are many reasons that South Carolina vehicle owners may want to consider when maintaining their vehicles, besides the protecting the environment.
Tax Deductions for Eco-Friendly Drivers in South Carolina
South Carolina Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Tax Credit: South Carolina residents who purchase or lease a brand new plug-in vehicle can get a tax credit from the state. The tax credit provides:
- An initial $667 for the purchase or lease of new Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
- An additional $111 for vehicles with at least 5 kilowatt hours of battery storage
- An additional $111 for each additional kilowatt hour of battery storage above 5 kilowatt hours
- The tax credit maximum is $2000
To be eligible for the tax credit, a South Carolina vehicle owner must have purchased a PHEV vehicle made mainly to drive on roads and highways. The tax credit does not include low and medium speed vehicles. That is, vehicles with top speeds between 20 – 25 mph, and 30 – 45 mph.
Additionally, the owner must provide the South Carolina Department of Revenue the vehicle maker’s certification of the PHEV vehicle’s battery capacity in kilowatt hours. The PHEV vehicle must also meet the following standards:
- The vehicle has 4 or more wheels
- The vehicle must have a range of at least 9 miles when in all-electric mode and have the benefits as a vehicle with a combustion engine
- The vehicle must be powered by a traction battery
- The vehicle’s battery capacity must be four kilowatt hours or higher
- The vehicle uses an external energy source to recharge its batteries
If the vehicle manufacturer is not a US manufacturer then a certification from the domestic distributor can be substituted to meet the tax credit requirement. For more information, refer to the South Carolina Code of Laws 12-6-3376
South Carolina AFV Tax Credit: South Carolina residents who claim the federal tax credit can also qualify for state income tax credit that is equivalent to 20% of the federal tax credit. The state tax credit applies to:
- New motor vehicles powered by fuel cells
- New motor vehicle using advanced lean-burn technology
- New hybrid motor vehicle (The credit applies using the combined city/highway metric or the standard used by in the federal IRS Tax Code Section 30B)
- New alternative-fuel motor vehicles ( As stated in the IRS Tax Code Section 30B)
For further details, see the South Carolina Code of Laws 12-6-3377.
AFV Vehicle Federal Tax Credit: With the recent tax overhaul bill that passed at the end of 2017 in the U.S Congress, the U.S. Federal Government decided to keep its $7500 Alternative Fuel Vehicle tax deduction. Vehicle owners can receive federal tax credits for the following types of alternative vehicles:
- Electric cars
- Plug-in Hybrids
- Alternative fuel vehicles
Also, some insurance companies provide rate discounts for vehicle owners who drive “green” or “eco-friendly” vehicles and who practice environmentally – friendly driving habits. Some insurance carriers may provide as much as a 10% discount. Contact your insurance provider for further details. These discounts include:
- Hybrid vehicle discounts
- Alternative fuel discounts
- Economy vehicle discounts
- Low-mileage discounts
- Pay as you drive discounts
How to Reduce Driving Emissions & Pollution
Pollution kills upwards of 200,000 people every year in the U.S. Vehicle emissions test programs help but are not always enough. The state of South Carolina provides the public with air pollution and ozone warnings. When the State of South Carolina alerts residents of air quality incidents, there are several actions residents can take to protect themselves, their families, and environment:
- Stay indoors when possible
- Start a rideshare or carpool for work
- Work remotely or from home
- Adjust your thermostat up in the summer; down in the winter
- Use public transportation
- Ride a bike or walk more often
- Refuel your vehicle during cooler times of the day
- Don’t use lawn mowers and other gas-powered equipment
- Avoid the use of aerosol products, oil-based paints, and solvents.
- Do more with less trips; combine errands and schedule travel around multiple commitments
Find Smog Check Stations Near Me
Even though South Carolina drivers are not required to pass any smog check requirements, South Carolina-registered drivers can get a voluntary vehicle emissions test done. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in South Carolina pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.